With the campaign for Dhaka University Central Students' Union (Ducsu) and hall union polls rolling onto the third day, allegations of intimidating independent candidates and obstructing their electioneering have been raised against Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) men.
Abdul Alim Khan, BCL-nominated vice-president contender of Sir A F Rahman hall union, yesterday brought down a banner of independent VP candidate Fahim Reza Shovon to hang his own banner in its stead.
Talking to the newspaper, Fahim said he hung the banner at the entryway with the help of two canteen boys as part of his election campaign.
“But Alim ordered the canteen boys to bring down my banner. When I asked why he did this, he said he had taken prior permission [from the returning officer] for that,” alleged Fahim.
There is no provision in the code of conduct stating that the candidates have to take prior permission for hanging banners.
Contacted, Alim said he is yet to hang his campaign banner as there is dispute over the place.
Fahim said he would file a written complaint to the returning officer of the hall union.
Section-5 (Jha) of the code of conduct says that none can take any actions that may obstruct or foil meeting, rally or other electoral campaigning of another candidate or create unrest.
The punishment of breaching any code of conduct is a penalty of maximum Tk 10,000, cancellation of candidature, expulsion from the university or punishment as per convenient law of the university or the state, reads Section-15 (Kha) of the code of conduct.
Some independent candidates of Salimullah Muslim Hall union alleged that they were being threatened by BCL leaders to stop campaigning.
Talking to The Daily Star, Shakikul Islam, social service affairs secretary post aspirant of the hall union alleged that several top BCL leaders of the halls have been threatening them to withdraw their candidature.
“As we did not comply with their order, they are now trying to obstruct us from campaigning,” said Shakik.
Meanwhile, candidates from different panels passed a busy day in electioneering. They went from room to room in halls, sought votes for their panel and pledged to work in favour of students.
BCL activists held projection meetings at different halls, distributed leaflets and handbills among students.
Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, leftist student organisations and quota reformists also conducted their campaigns at different places of the campus including Madhur Canteen, Arts Building and Faculty of Social Science area.
A total of 18 DU halls will go to polls on March 11. The central union has 25 posts and each hall union has 13 posts.
The estimated number of voters at DU is 43,000.